For many individuals, dental problems refer to bleeding gums, tooth decay and cavities. But there’s more to dental health problems than these usual culprits, and most of the time you may be unaware of the problem. For example, have you experienced a clenching of the feet or grinding of the teeth. Or perhaps you’ve heard and noticed your partner grinding and clenching his teeth during sleep? While this may seem like an ordinary occurrence due to stress or anger, this is actually a dental health issue that should also get your attention. This is a common issue that affects one in three patients. Bruxism may not be serious compared to other health problems, it still requires immediate attention since it can exacerbate other health conditions.
Self-Care Treatment Options Available at Home
Some of the best treatment options can be found in your home. If a meeting with a dentist is not yet possible within the day or week, it’s recommended to take a good look at the available treatment options and solutions that can be found in your home. Self-care treatment using home-sourced solutions can help relieve pain and give you a restful sleep.
To alleviate the pain, you can apply ice on the affected jaw muscles. Also, watch what you put in your mouth. Stay away from steak, candies and nuts that will apply too much pressure on the teeth and jaw. Instead of drinking carbonated drinks, you should drink lots of water. Massage and exercise can also go a long way in treating bruxism. Include stretching exercises in your routine that can help bring back the balance in the movement of joints and muscles. Relaxing and massaging the muscles of the neck, face and shoulders can help alleviate the pain. Look out for the trigger points or the small and painful nodules that can cause pain in the face and head. And finally, try to stay away from stressful situations. According to some studies, the amount of stress may cause clenching of the jaws and teeth.
Modern Techniques and Approaches to Treat Bruxism
Some of the recommended home-sourced remedies will only alleviate the pain and may not prevent the damage to your teeth. To prevent further damage to the teeth, a dentist may recommend the use of mouth guards or other appliances like splints. The splints have been used for decades, and are beneficial against clenching and TMJ disorders, and can help protect the teeth against clenching. The most popular and less invasive treatment option is through the use of a mouth guard which is fitted in the mouth before sleeping. The design is similar to the mouth guards used by boxers. The only difference is that this mouth guard for bruxism is used to protect one’s teeth from clenching and grinding during sleep.
There are other medical approaches that can be used to treat bruxism. For example, patients can count on splint therapy, surgery and orthodontic adjustments. But all these are considered last options for patients suffering from bruxism.